Looking in the mirror this morning I look like Bette Davis on a bad day with a semi swollen face and bags hanging under my irritated eyes. I took a cold drug last night before bedtime which is giving me a drug-induced hangover today.
I decided to write a blog called “I Look Like Shrek” and then chose not to share it with anyone. Do I really want people to have that impression of me? If I really was Bette Davis I would have ‘my people’ helping me get through this awful day. But I am not she, so instead I daydream about how I longed to be a movie star when I was very young.
Most of my friends know that my favourite actress is Bette Davis. There is absolutely no one that can get her point across in three seconds or less like she could. As a child I used to buy Popeye candy cigarettes and flash them back and forth yelling in my mother’s high heels,
“It’s going to be a bumpy ride!”– or something to that effect.
My father would just roll his eyes and say I was living in a “Modern Screen” fantasy world like my mother. Bernice Ethelyne had named me Linda Susan after her two favourite actresses: Linda Darnell and Susan Hayward. From her hospital bed to her wheelchair at home she commanded my father to enrol me in every dance class known to man. Mother Bernice wanted me to become another Joan Crawford as she was her favourite actress and lived, ate and breathed Crawford.
One Tuesday when I came home from school I stopped dead in my tracks eyeing my mother and her canasta club having a Joan Crawford makeover day. Sitting like glamour queens, I am sure each one of them thought they all looked like MGM starlets munching on pineapple squares with bright red lips, short bangs and evil eyebrows. It was the scariest thing you ever saw and I swear I didn’t sleep for days after that gut wrenching experience.
My mother who also tone deaf thought I was born to sing like Deanna Durbin. Every week Reverend Brown would choose one person to perform a solo and my mother called and suggested that I participate.
Sunday came way too fast and barely standing next to the choir I begin to sing. I hear no bravos in the congregation, but by verse three people are covering their mouths with their handkerchiefs. At the end of my song Dickie Diner in the front pew breaks out into a fit of laughter and ends up on the floor.
I go back to my seat and see Reverend Brown look down at me through his bifocals in bewilderment. Miss Smith, age 69, the spinster church organist, stamps on the organ pedals and rolls into the next hymn at death defying volume. My musical career ended that day but Bernice kept insisting that it was okay because they always had stand-in singers for Joan.
Daydreaming over, I come to the conclusion that I’m going to use up a box of Kleenex every hour and it’s going to be a bumpy ride for the next 24 hours. I just don’t get it. I am so offended when my body decides to be sick. Like I gave you a vegetable last week.. How dare you!! LOLOL
“The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?– Bette Davis
Last night I began an online course in hopes of improving my writing. I did half the weeks assignments and seriously contemplated if anything would be useful to me. Slowly I began to think about it. There were points that the teacher spoke about that I had never really thought about.
Who was my target audience?
Who was I writing for?
I sat and pondered for awhile and finally realized the bulk of my audience was over the age of 40. I think it kind of shocked me for an instant, and wondered when I became so old. Each day I look in the mirror and see the same person I was 40 years ago, but no one else sees that Linda anymore. I am now 65 years old and no longer wear a size 4. Well, I never wore a size 4, so that’s beside the point.
If I really was the same reflection in the mirror I greet each day I would spring out of bed each morning eager to take on the day. Since when did my face start resembling a peach? Upset with my peach fuzz status I pluck like a maniac and refuse to call chin hairs “stray eyebrows” as I once did. My natural blonde hair is no longer sultry and is dyed flaming red. Instead of a Dietrich look, I now sometimes assume a dead on impression of Bette Davis in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane“.
I can no longer stand people talking in loud volumes, especially on their cell phones. Do I really want to know what your “Baby’s Daddy” is not doing for you? Silently I now scream obscenities at those that bring hockey-bag loads of laundry into my laundry room. I do laundry frequently because I prefer to wear clean underwear every day. Remaining silent, I know that it would be over their heads to offer that information as they choose not to wear any such thing. I can also vouch that these personal sparing of the briefs has nothing to do with saving the environment as I watch them pour their “green” detergent into the soap compartment.
On a good note, because of my senior status, my bank now charges $9.95 a month in fees instead of $13.95 . What can I do with the extra $4.00 savings each month? Would that $4.00 buy me a package of much needed Depends down the road?
In summation, I guess I finally realize who I really write for. I write to entertain and provide information for others- but mostly I write for myself. Shunning the advice an esteemed editor gave me two years ago that ‘old’ does not sell readership, I publish this myself of my own free will despite supposed repercussions of being unread. Now that I am older I pay less attention to what people say- as I will never outlive my enthusiasm to write, and I am one hell of a stubborn woman. As Bette Davis once said:
“Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”
Amen to that sister!